Apple apologises after Siri privacy concerns

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Apple addressed consumer concerns over non-apple employees gaining access and listening to Siri recordings in a statement released on Thursday, 28 August 2019. In the statement, the technology company says it only uses Siri data to improve Siri – however, it will make changes to ensure their consumer’s privacy is protected.According to Apple, plans to allow external contractors to ‘grade’ the digital assistant’s performance have since been suspended and the new process will require consumers to opt-in if they’re comfortable with Apple-only employees to use the recordings. And in the meantime, improvements to Siri will be made with the help of computer-generated transcripts.Apple has also apologised – “We realise we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that, we apologise”.The company went on to say that, “We plan to resume [the Siri grading program] later this fall when software updates are released to our users”.But only after making the following changes:

  • “First, by default, we will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve.
  • Second, users will be able to opt in to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their requests. We hope that many people will choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls in place. Those who choose to participate will be able to opt-out at any time.
  • Third, when customers opt-in, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to delete any recording which is determined to be an inadvertent trigger of Siri.”

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